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Crude: 90-minute Australian documentary online

Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC)
ABC TV is proud to present the world television premiere of Crude, a superbly crafted, 90 minute documentary spanning 160 million years of the Earth’s history to reveal the story of oil.

From the food on our tables to the fuel in our cars, crude oil seeps invisibly into almost every part of our modern lives. It is the energy source and raw material that drives transport and the economy. Yet many of us have little idea of the incredible journey it has made to reach our petrol tanks and plastic bags.

Coming in the wake of rising global concerns about the continued supply of oil, and increasingly weird weather patterns, award-winning Australian filmmaker, Dr Richard Smith takes us through time: from the birth of oil deep in the dinosaur-inhabited past, to its ascendancy as the indispensable ingredient of modern life. Filmed on location in 11 countries across five continents, Smith consults the leading international scientific experts to join the dots between geology and economy and provide the big-picture view of oil.

Smith says: “When I first started getting interested in oil, I was amazed to find that not only did most people not really have a good idea what this stuff was, but it was hard to find a really definitive explanation from the experts on how it formed. Clearly, the science of oil was lagging behind the exploitation. The deeper I dug into the latest research on the subject, the more incredible links in the story began to drop into place.”

Crude takes a step back from the day to day news to illuminate the Earth’s extraordinary carbon cycle and the role of oil in our impending climate crisis. Nearly seven billion people have come to depend on this resource, yet the Oil Age, that began less than a century and a half ago, could be over in our lifetimes.
(24 May 2007)
The video is viewable online.

Website includes interviews with Dr. Jeremy Leggett (former exploration), Dr. Hugh Jenkyns (Oxford University), Dr. Colin Campbell (ASPO), Lord Ronald Oxburgh (former chairnman of Shell), Dr. Wallace S. Broecker (Columbia University), Sonia Shah (Author), Dr. Lee Kump (Penn State).

Contributor SP recommends background on the documentary from The Age. He adds: “While it doesn’t use the exact phrase “peak oil” it comes close enough.”

Poster Omnitir at peakoil-dot-com gave it a thumbs-up:

it’s well deserving of the “award winning” status they give it. While it’s similar to many other PO documentaries, with the usual crowd of geologists stating pretty much the exact same thing we see them say in every documentary or write in every book, the overall presentation of this documentary really brought peak oil and climate change into a much more interesting and mainstream-digestible format. The show used some impressive animations to describe the carbon cycle and the formation of oil during the Jurassic period. It went into detail about the greenhouse events that caused the build-up of carbon sediments in warm, stagnant oceans, and commented on the irony of how our rapid release of carbon could result in the planets next great build-up of carbon reservoirs. And of course it went into detail about the vital role of oil in modern civilization, and the potential impact peak oil may have.

Peak oil at the Southern States Energy Board
American Enerty Security

Southern States Energy Board (SSEB)
The Southern States Energy Board (SSEB) is commissioning a major study to help guide the United States toward energy security, freedom, and independence. This study will focus on the rapid development of an alternative oil and liquid fuels production base in America utilizing our vast domestic resources of coal, oil shale, and biomass. It will also emphasize the need for greatly increased United States transportation fuel efficiency, sensible conservation, and improved domestic oil recovery programs emphasizing CO2-enhanced recovery and sequestration.
(17 April 2007)
Reader “twist” writes:
I was just going through some powerpoints from a Southern States Energy Board conference, April 17:

Both presentations by Kenneth Nemeth and Fred Palmer cite peak oil explicitly, incorporating timing graphs etc. Obviouisly the coal industry has a stake in seeing a near-term oil peak, but still significant that these high profile people are openly discussing it now.

Building a National Coalition for Energy Independence
Fred Palmer, Peabody Energy

Our View of Peak Oil

  • Peak oil, properly defined, appears at hand.
  • The ability to maintain daily oil production at current levels is problematic, and the capability to increase production by EIA’s estimate of 50% is improbable.
  • While the timing of peak oil is a matter of debate, depletion in many major fields cannot be denied.
  • The socioeconomic impacts of peak oil will be so significant that it is essential to start mitigation now
  • We are proceeding with clean coal conversion project because we do not believe the projected increases in liquid fuel and natural gas consumption can be met without coal-to-liquids, coal-to-gas and enhanced oil recovery.

(17 April 2007)
Fred Palmer is Senior VP – Government Relations for Peabody Energy. Peabody Energy is “the world’s largest private-sector coal company”. This is a slide from Mr. Palmer’s presentation at a conference of the Southern States Energy Board. See previous item.

The peak in Norway

Oljens tid er over (Norway)

(Click on image for full view)
(25 May 2007)
Jan Herdal of writes:
The Norwegian blotspot Oljens tid er over has posted the latest graph from the Norwegian petroleum departement showing that Hubbert`s Peak. The bell curve is getting pretty obvious in Norway. The latest figures in the graph are as you can see for the year 2006. Crude production keeps on falling, and at the moment we are probably down to 1994 levels.